Jailed for six months

A judge has told a mother of six who was abusive to a foreign national that “fascist talk is not to be permitted”.

District Judge Barney McElholm made the comment as he jailed 32-year-old Edel McLaughlin for six months.

McLaughlin, whose address was given on court papers as Lisfannon Park, pleaded guilty to a total of nine charges relating to seven different incidents between March 7 and October 27.

The charges include disorderly behaviour, theft, resisting and assaulting police.

Derry Magistrates Court heard that one of the incidents involved McLaughlin being abusive a foreign national, claiming they were “over here taking our jobs from us”.

It was revealed one of the offences took place in Altnagelvin Hospital.

The 32-year-old had been taken to the hospital after threatening to self harm and while there was aggressive to medical staff and police.

McLaughlin also called police “orange b*******” during a separate incident, when they spoke to her about a suspected breach of bail.

Defence solicitor Paddy McDermott said the mother of six has an “extensive record” and a “severe drink problem”.

He said that almost all the offences on the record arise through the abuse of alcohol and McLaughlin is “very much a different person when sober”.

Mr MacDermott told the court the 32-year-old regrets her behaviour and the “effect it has had on her life and the life of her family”.

The solicitor said his client was “particularly embarrassed” by the incident in the hospital as she has the “greatest respect for the medical profession”.

He said that McLaughlin is a “nuisance to society and police when she has a drink in her”.

Jailing the 32-year-old, District Judge Barney McElholm said “given her employment record one has to wonder whose job she was concerned with” when abusing the foreign national.

He added that his views on disorderly behaviour in the hospital are “relatively well known” and it was a “serious” matter.